Should Daylight Saving Time go year-round?

It's that time of year - Daylight Saving Time strikes again Sunday morning. We'll lose an hour of sleep springing forward. The big question: should we keep DST year round?

To have your voice heard, vote in our reader poll here.

10News wants to know what you think in our viewer poll. Voting 'Yes' that means you love more light later in the evening hours, even at the expense a later sunrise.

So why the sudden clock controversy? You may have heard that farmers are to blame for the time change, but that’s a myth. Farmers at the Florida Strawberry Festival say chickens particularly don't like the schedule swap, and for some farmers it actually means more work is required to get the job done.

“The less daylight (the chickens have) got, the less eggs they lay, so we put a light in there at night,” says Mike Taylor, who raises chickens.

“They always say it's for the farmers. The farmers won't look at the clock to see what time it is, they just look to see when the sun comes up. That's when you start,” says Terri Parke of Parkesdale Strawberry Farm.

Farmers are often, mistakenly, connected to Daylight Saving Time, because post-World War II they loudly opposed the time change, arguing that they needed the earlier sunrise to dry the crops to get to market early.

“I don't like it. I'd like for them to get it one time, and leave it one time. We'd get used to it,” says Buddy Sewell of Sewell and Sewell Strawberry Farm.

Last year, a Florida lawmaker proposed switching to Daylight Saving Time and never going back to Standard Time, a movement known as the Sunshine Protection Act.

But as in years past, the bill never made it out of committee.

In 2005, Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to eight months with the promise that it would save money on electricity. But some studies have since found that what we save on lights is spent on air conditioning with later sunsets anyway.

“At our home, I don't see any savings. It's more about availability outside with daylight to enjoy whatever we’re doing outside with our kids,” says Mandy Hamrick, whose family is raising a steer.

There are plenty of fans of Daylight Saving Time: stores see more shoppers, needing more gas to get around. The grill and charcoal industries get fired up for the time change, and tourism and sports benefit from more light for playtime.

The opponents: movie theaters, who find people don't want to sit in the dark when it's light out, school districts for the kids dealing with the morning darkness, airlines because of schedule changes, and companies seeing less productive employees the day after losing an hour of sleep.

“Don't blame us. It’s not us,” says Terri Parke.

If you like standard time, Nov. 5 is just eight months away.

You can also sound off on Facebook if you think we should keep Daylight Saving Time year-round.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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